UNBREAKABLE BONDS: PLAS holds 2015 commencement ceremony

Published 4:00 am Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pike Liberal Arts School graduation in Troy, Ala., Thursday, May 21, 2015. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

Cailyn Barron hugs a classmate after the Pike Liberal Arts School graduation Friday. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

The Pike Liberal Arts School class of 2015 got one last lesson in success at the commencement ceremony Friday night. Jonah McWaters, PLAS class of 2004, spoke to the graduates of the definition of success.

“Success is not awards, trophies, money, cars, etc,” McWaters said. “You can’t put a price tag on success. Success comes down to how you do something.”

McWaters encouraged the graduates to always stay optimistic and never let the pessimists of the world determine their success. Only they can determine if they are successful.

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“From here on out, you write your life story,” he said.

Cameron Crowe, the class president, challenged his classmates to make a difference in the world around them.

“What we do when we leave Pike is what matters,” Crowe said.

Pike Liberal Arts School graduation in Troy, Ala., Friday, May 22, 2015. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

Pike Liberal Arts School graduation. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

The Salutatorian, Shelby Hughes, also challenged her classmates to better themselves as they leave their high school days and move into the next stages in their lives.

“We are ready to take on the world and all of its challenges,” Hughes said. “Strive to be the very best person that you can be.”

Each student that spoke at the ceremony emphasized the importance of relying on God in all times in order to stay strong. Valedictorian Catherine Crowe also said that the bond created in the PLAS class of 2015 would also keep them strong.

“Things may be tough…but have faith,” she said. “We will always have each other. We may be miles apart, but our class has a special bond. It may be stretched, but it is a bond that will never be broken.”

Becky Baggett, PLAS headmaster, closed the ceremony with parting words and encouragement for the graduates.

“Each of you are uniquely and wonderfully made by God,” Baggett said. “He has an awesome plan for your lives. Seek His wisdom and guidance to lead you. Know that I love you, and may God bless each of you.”

As the graduates looked up to the sky as they tossed their caps, they also looked at their futures being set out before them. They saw possibilities and the unknown.

“So many emotions are going through my head right now,” said Katie Knotts after she just graduated. “I’m excited about going to college and opening up a new chapter. I’m also nervous, but I think that I’ll be okay.’

New beginnings and new adventures await the PLAS class of 2015, but old friends and old memories will always be there to comfort, support and strengthen them in their journeys ahead.

“You can do anything you want to do,” McWaters said. “You can be anything you want to be. It’s just all up to you.”